“But I also think it’s important not to minimize the damage that he did because even though he’s somebody who didn’t seem to have strong ideological beliefs, he was leading the Republicans in the House. And at each moment, when his determination to do the right thing could have made a difference, he determined instead to do the wrong thing.”
McCarthy had announced that he would leave office at the end of the month after he was voted out of his speakership in October in a vote instigated by a hard-right bloc within his own caucus. His departure will narrow the House GOP’s already razor-thin majority.
McCarthy was the House Republican leader during Donald Trump’s attempted coup and famously visited the former president within weeks of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, posing for a smiling photo with the man whose supporters had laid siege to the U.S. Capitol.
After initially saying the then-president bore responsibility for the attack, McCarthy soon flip-flopped and returned to defending Trump.
Cheney, one of a handful of Republicans who consistently spoke out against the riot and Trump’s actions leading up to it, wrote in her new book that she had confronted McCarthy about the trip to Mar-a-Lago at the time, to which he allegedly responded: “Trump’s not eating, so they asked me to come see him.”
Cheney’s book, “Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning,” became an instant bestseller when it was released Tuesday.